NPR logo Iraqis Upset With Life Sentence For Rapist-Killer

Iraqis Upset With Life Sentence For Rapist-Killer

Convicted rapist and murderer, former soldier Steven Dale Green, is led from the court building by U.S. marshals after he was given a life sentence, Thursday May 21, 2009, in Paducah, Ky. AP Photo/ Daniel R. Patmore hide caption

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AP Photo/ Daniel R. Patmore

Many Iraqis are reacting badly to the life sentence a jury decided to give Steven Green, the 24-year old former U.S. soldier convicted of raping and killing a 14-year old Iraqi girl and her family.

NPR correspondent J.J. Sutherland sends the following report from Baghdad:

Green was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Not good enough for many Iraqis. They wanted death.

In 2006 Green and three other soldiers went the home of Abeer Al-Janabi. They killed the girl's mother, father and sister. Then they gang raped a girl. After raping her Green shot her in the face. Then he set her body on fire to try and cover up the crime. The other three soldiers are already serving long sentences, but they are eligible for parole.

Salim Al-Jabbouri, a Sunni politician, said that in comparison to the crime itself, the sentence is nothing. He says Green should have been tried under Iraqi law and hanged.

Some ordinary Iraqis expressed disbelief that Green would be punished at all. It's just propaganda, they said, just a show.